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Лисянский Юрий Фёдорович - Voyage round the world..., Страница 2

Лисянский Юрий Фёдорович - Voyage round the world...

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the whole week; but in the morning of the 15th it shifted to the west-south-west, and permitted us to continue our voyage.
   On nearing Cape Cole, the wind gradually freshened, and at noon obliged me to take in two reefs in the top-sails. At six o'clock we passed the Anholt Reef, upon which was an American ship, that had left Elsineur some time before us. We saw her cut away her main-mast; yet I doubt her having been able to get off this dangerous range of rocks, extending several miles out to sea. {English males are every where used ill this work.}


   On the 16th, at six in the morning, we passed the Skaw light; but could not perceive it, from the weather being foggy. I supposed myself, however, to be out of the Cattegat.
   As it is well known, that a hold becomes foul in a tight ship sooner than in a leaky one, I ordered ours to be freshened twice a week, by pouring in clear water from the sea, and pumping it out, after it had remained twelve hours.

17th. 18th.

   On the 17th the two ships came in sight of the high land of Drommels, and on the 18th encountered a violent storm. At one in the afternoon the wind blew so strong, and the sea ran so high, that the rolling of my vessel rendered the taking in the sails a most difficult task. While this was doing, the darkness became so great, from the squalls succeeding with rapidity and the rain pouring down in torrents, that we could hardly distinguish one another. Meanwhile, the waves rolled over the deck, and removed or carried away every thing we had not bad time to secure from their violence. From the exertions, however, of the crew, but little damage was done, and about four o'clock every thing was comfortably adjusted. During the night we kept lights in different parts of the ship, that we might be seen by the Nadejda. But this precaution did not prevent our separation; for at day-break, the only ship in sight was a merchantman. Persuaded, however, that nothing unfortunate had happened to our friends, I resolved to continue my course to Falmouth, which was the first appointed place of rendezvous. On the above occasion my marine barometer again showed its excellence; as it had fallen regularly during three days, and at the time of the storm was at 29 inches 3 lines.


   At nine o'clock in the evening of the 39th the aurora borealis made its appearance, and continued for the space of half an hour, diminishing by degrees. A few hours earlier in the evening the barometer had risen five lines.


   At length, on the 23d, to my great joy we reached the British shores. This was so much the more agreeable to me, as I expected a continuation of fine weather, of which we had been deprived since our entrance into the Cattegat. From the 21st the wind had greatly abated; but the sea was still so high, that, on the pitching of the ship, it often entered my cabin windows. Finding by the lead, that we were on the northern side of Deep Water Bank, I steered straight for the North Foreland. At noon we found ourselves in latitude 51° 58' north, and at eight o'clock were between the Goodwin Sands and the Falls. Though the tide was against us, yet, by means of a fair wind, we soon cleared the danger; and, having past the South Foreland and Warne, we steered for Dungeness.


   On the 24th the barometer was at 30 inches 2 1/2 lines, the weather delightful. At six in the morning we came abreast of Beechy Head, and towards evening reached the Isle of Wight, where we were almost becalmed.


   An English frigate, which we met with the next day, informed us, that the storm we had encountered in the North Sea had raged with much violence in the Channel, and that many ships had been dismasted, and others driven on shore. We therefore thought ourselves fortunate in having escaped with the loss of a few trifles not worth mentioning, and a night's rest.
   At ten o'clock in the evening of this day we saw the Eddistone light, and I had resolved to continue my course; but observing another light not far from the Eddistone's, that appeared and disappeared at regular intervals, and not being able to explain this to my satisfaction, after proceeding about six miles further, I thought it prudent to bring-to till day-light.


   At break of day, seeing nothing but the Eddistone light-house, and concluding that the other light had been put up for some temporary purpose, I bore away for Falmouth, and at eleven o'clock cast anchor there.
   After mooring the ship, I dispatched an officer to inform the commander of the forts of our arrival, and to inquire if our salutation would be answered by an equal number of guns. Having received a very polite answer in the affirmative, the salute was given, and I went on shore with some of my officers. Though the Nadejda had not arrived; yet, expecting her every hour, I resolved to lose no time, but prepare for sea with all expedition. My decks required to be caulked, in consequence of the storm we had encountered; and, from its being late in the year, I ordered a new set of sails to be bent. I however contrived that all my ship's company should be able to go on shore in turn, to purchase whatever they might want, and amuse themselves in the last European port at which we should touch.
   My conjecture respecting the Nadejda was well-founded, for she brought-to alongside of us the third day after our arrival, She had been a greater sufferer than we by the storm, having opened the seams of her sides, so as to render a thorough caulking necessary. I was highly gratified to find that her crew had behaved with the same courage and alacrity as my own; and with this circumstance in our favour we had nothing to wish, but a common run of good fortune during the expedition, to ensure us success. During our stay at Falmouth, I visited; every place worthy of remark; but as I am now writing for English readers, I shall omit, as unnecessary, the observations I made, and the description of this part of their coast



   Departure from Falmouth. Remarkable Meteor. Method of preventing Bilge-water. Precautions against Disease. Sublime Appearance of the Peak of Teneriffe from the Sea. Fortunate Escape from a Hurricane. Account of the Towns of Laguna and Santa Cruz, in the Island of Teneriffe. Bad Anchorage of the Bay of Santa Cruz. A Mummy, supposed to have been embalmed by the ancient Inhabitants of Teneriffe, given to our Ambassador.

1803. October. 5th.

   We bad for several days been ready for sea, but were detained by our ambassador's visit to London. Upon his return, on the afternoon of the 5th of October, both ships got under way, and about midnight were under full sail in the Atlantic.


   The next day we had easterly winds and cold weather. Observing in the morning much bilge-water in every part of the ship, I gave orders that the hold should be filled regularly every day with sea-water mixt with burnt lime, and then pumped out; and that the hatchways should be taken off, whenever the weather permitted. This I found to be the best method of prevention.


   All the way from the Lizard Point we had a fair wind blowing fresh; but it much abated on the 10th. We had observed for several days a number of petrels; and on this day our decks were covered with small birds, blown by the south-east winds from the Continent. They were so feeble, that the cats on board caught a great number of them. At eleven o'clock I took some distances between the sun and moon, and an altitude for our chronometers; and I found by the former, that we were, at noon, in 13° 55' west longitude; {The longitude is reckoned from Greenwich.} and by the latter, in 13° 28', our latitude being 38° 44' north. In the evening, we saw to the south-west a very remarkable meteor. It passed almost horizontally over a quarter of the sky, and disappeared under a cloud, leaving a track behind, which remained for the space of ten minutes in a very luminous state.


   The wet and gloomy weather, which had continued with little or no intermission since our departure from Falmouth, on the 17th cleared up. Our ship's crew were not the only beings that rejoiced at the circumstance; for we were surrounded by a number of sharks, who, playing round the ship, apparently testified by their gambols their delight at the change. During the continuance of the bad weather I would not permit the decks to be washed; but ordered them to be scraped every day, charcoal in stoves to be kept burning below, and, where the air had not a free circulation, warm vinegar to be sprinkled. This method of cleaning ships in cold climates is much preferable to frequent washings, which, from the decks not drying quickly, is Sometimes productive of disease.
   Nearing the tropic, I ordered our winter clothes to be stowed away; a jacket and a pair of trowsers for each man, in case of damp and chilly nights, excepted. By this measure we gained between decks a great deal of room. I also laid it down as a rule not to be departed from, that, during our stay in warm climates, a third of the crew should in turn wash themselves every morning from head to foot with sea-water.


   On the 18th we had a light breeze from the north-west, and fine weather. At noon I found myself in 30° 8' north latitude, and 15° 14' west longitude; and as we were only eight miles to the southward and thirteen to the eastward of our reckoning the day before, I concluded the current was not very strong. At three o'clock we saw, from the mast-head, the islands called the Salvages, to the north-west; and as the weather now became warm, I gave orders that, till our arrival in a colder climate, grog should be served out instead of brandy; a change which our sailors did not much relish, from being accustomed to what they called the solid stuff.


   On the 19th, as soon as it was light, the island of Teneriffe was descried, forty-five miles to the south-west. The clouds hanging over it prevented our distinguishing the Peak till seven o'clock, when this celebrated mountain, with its snow-crowned summit, showed itself in all its splendour. The majestic height of this enormous mass, raising its huge head from out of the bosom, as it were, of the vast expanse of waters, struck me with force for the first time, and impressed my mind with sublime emotions towards the Creator. On my formerly passing the island, the haziness of the weather had prevented me from beholding this wonderful spectacle.
   Early, in the morning of this day, a large ship was perceived at a distance; and about five o'clock in the afternoon she came up with us, and hoisted a French flag. We also hoisted our ensign, and spoke to her. She proved to be the French privateer, L'Egyptienne; who, taking us for English merchantmen, had, in idea, made sure of both ships as prizes: on finding, however, her mistake, she sheered off without annoying us.
   On taking the bearings of the north point of the island, it was found that our chronometers went perfectly right, and that our reckoning was to the westward eighty-one miles. During the last twenty-four hours, the current was nine miles to the eastward and eight to the southward.


   At day-break of the 20th we bore for the harbour of Santa Cruz, and about noon anchored there, with the assistance of the captain of the port, who came on board my ship in the offing. As soon as we were moored, I went on shore with captain Krusenstern, to pay my respects to the governor-general, the Marquis de la Casa Caghigal, who received us, I am sorry to say, with a politeness very different from what characterizes the nobility of Spain. In the course of the day the privateer that spoke with us yesterday, and a Spanish brig of war, entered the harbour. The brig brought orders from the court of Spain, that, in case of our arrival at Teneriffe, every attention and assistance should be given to us; and the politeness of the governor rose in consequence of it. An American brig also came to an anchor; and by her we learned that, in not making the island of Madeira, we had had a most fortunate escape; as, about the time we should have been there, a hurricane had taken place; and of so tremendous a nature, that many small houses were torn from their foundations, and nearly all the ships in the roads driven on shore, or dashed to pieces on the rocks. The American herself would have been inevitably lost upon the Lock Rocks, against which she was hastening, but for a sudden squall from the shore, that snatched her out of the jaws of death, by driving her forcibly to sea. We thus had reason to bless the contrary winds, that hindered us from reaching a place at which we had intended to touch, and which might have proved the termination of our voyage.
   Our principal view, in touching at Teneriffe, was to furnish ourselves with fresh provisions and wine; and we applied for this purpose to Mr. Armstrong, to whom captain Krusenstern had a letter of recommendation. With the utmost alacrity, he dispatched his servants about the country to purchase what we wanted; and in the mean time did every tiling in his power to render our stay on shore agreeable. His wife, a beautiful and well-educated woman, by her musical accomplishments, captivating manners, and anxiety to please, cheered those hours which, from the unsociable and reserved life of the Spaniards of Teneriffe, would otherwise have dragged heavily on.
   Though Laguna has been denominated the metropolis of the island of Teneriffe, Santa Cruz is in reality the chief or government city, from the governor-general of the Canary Islands residing in it, and from trade there being in a much more flourishing state. The buildings of this town are principally of stone; and, by being situated on the declivity of a hill, afford a very pleasing prospect from, the sea, and can easily be kept clean. The bay of Santa Cruz is defended by three forts, St. Pedro, St. Raphael, and St. Christoval; a cannon-shot from which last had the unfortunate chance of taking off an arm from the ever-to-be-regretted Nelson, in his well-known attack upon the island, in the year 1797.
   From the accounts I could gather, the population of Santa Cruz does not much exceed five thousand souls. The lower class of its inhabitants are so very poor, that many of them have no other bed-chamber than the street, no other covering than the sacks they use for their daily labour, and no other food for subsistence than stinking fish. Of the higher class I can say but little: judging, however, from their solitary life, and their not having a single public place of amusement, or a decent garden (except a small inclosure that hardly deserves the name), to which to retire for change of air during the extreme heat of summer; I must join in the common opinion of foreigners residing on the island, that, a few comforts excepted, their life is scarcely more enviable than that of the poor.
   This town can always furnish ships with fresh provisions, excellent water, and plenty of live stock, fruits, and other vegetables. All these articles, however, are excessively dear, wine excepted; for a pipe of which I paid only ninety Spanish dollars. As a specimen of their dearness, I shall mention, that a small sheep cost us seven dollars, a middling-sized pumpkin, a dollar, and a fowl, half a dollar. But the most mortifying circumstance is, that there is no regular market in the town: every thing that is wanted must accordingly be sent for into the country. This was so great an inconvenience, that, but for the assistance of Mr. Armstrong, we should have been detained here for a considerable period, and probably have gone at last with half the articles only which this truly obliging gentleman had the goodness to purchase for us.
   The bay of Santa Cruz is not a safe anchoring place, especially in winter; from its being open to the south-east, a quarter from which the wind sometimes blows with great violence. To this may be added, that it has in many places a rocky bottom, and abounds so much with lost anchors and warps, that it is necessary to buoy up the cables to prevent their chafing: we found three small casks to each of our cables to be sufficient for the purpose. The best anchorage here is reckoned to be in from thirty-five to eighteen fathoms. The Spaniards commonly moor their ships with two anchors each way; but this I think too much, especially if the anchors and cables are good: however, it is adviseable to have all the ship's anchors in readiness, particularly in the concluding months of the year. We were moored south-south-east and north-north-west,having Fort Christoval north 81° 30' west; South Fort, south 55° 30' west; and St Raphael, north 5° east: and the only damage we sustained was the loss of a warp, which we could not heave up when we unmoored.
   To come into the bay, you must sail close in shore, after passing round the north-east part of the island; and you should endeavour to get bottom as soon as possible: for whieh purpose a heavy lead with fifty fathoms of line should be in readiness; The shore here is very high, and so deceiving, that when I thought myself four leagues from it, I afterwards found by my run that I had been mistaken by nearly half that distance.
   During our stay here, the Peak was so constantly overclouded, that we could only see it twice distinctly. The summit was then covered with snow; but this is not the case, we were informed, in the months of June and July.
   I had promised myself much pleasure from the observatory of the town, of which the governor had the goodness to permit us a free use; but my expectations in this respect were disappointed. The craziness of the, building not permitting us to use the Quicksilver artificial horizon, we were obliged to make all our observations on board; and from 172 altitudes taken between eight and nine o'clock in the morning, it appeared that my chronometer No. 50 had lost 14", that Pennington's had gained 2' 9" since the 1st of September, and No. 136 lost 3' 32" since the 18th of July.
   The latitude of our anchoring place, according to the different meridian altitudes, appeared to be 28° 26' 36" north. The variation of the compass, 15° 22' west.
   Upon our departure, Mrs. Armstrong presented me with a small but curious and perfect collection of conchs and shells, which she had received from Jamaica. I also procured several pieces of the lava of the Peak, amongst which were some that consisted entirely of sulphur. Our ambassador was still more fortunate; he was presented with a complete human body, like a mummy, and two dried legs, in perfect preservation: from which it would appear, either that the ancient inhabitants of the island were acquainted with the art of embalming, or that the part of the mountain where they buried their dead must have possessed properties capable of preserving animal substances from decay.
   Mr. Berg, a midshipman of my vessel, having visited Lagona, gave me his observations upon that town, from which I made the following extract. "The road from Santa Cruz to Lagona is so mountainous, that asses and mules are the only mode of conveyance. The town consists of about a hundred houses, which, a few excepted, are extremely poor, three monasteries, and two convents". {Mr. Lansdorff says that it contains only two convents of monks and two of nuns.
   } Mr. Berg visited the monastery of St. Augustine, and found it richly endowed: Speaking of his journey, he says, that it was almost a continued scene of poverty. The environs of the town, however, were truly beautiful and picturesque.



   Departure from Teneriffe. Precautions for Health on entering the warm Latitudes. Amusements of the Crew. Make the Island of St. Antony, one of the Cape di Verd Islands. Variation of the Chronometers. Impolicy of passing through the Cape de Verd Islands in going to the Cape of Good Hope. Rejoicings on Crossing the Line. Importance of attending to the Sea Currents. Seek in vain for the Island of Ascension. Cape Frio. Island of Alvaredo. Singular Peril of the two Ships. Arrival and Stay at St. Catharine. Account of that Island, its Productions, and Inhabitants.

1803. October. 27th.

   Whilst we were getting underway, on the 27th of October, the governor with his suite came on board to take a formal leave of us. Upon his quitting the Nadejda, captain Krusenstern fired a salute, which was returned by an equal number of guns from the castle. He then came on board the Neva, where I bade him farewell by three cheers from the shrouds, which I had previously manned for that purpose. This ceremony over, the two ships set sail with a light breeze.


   Having passed the Canary Islands, the change of the atmosphere was very perceptible: from the 30th the air became so close and thick, that every one on board felt himself heavy and indolent. From this circumstance I thought proper to order some lemon-juice, (of which a sufficient quantity had been taken on board at Santa Cruz,) to be mixed with the grog served out to the crew; and I occasionally changed this beverage for Teneriffe wine. It may easily be imagined that we exposed ourselves as little as possible to the scorching heat of the sun, to which the whole of my people were strangers; none of them having ever before quitted the North Sea. By way of precaution against this inconvenience, an awning was spread, and strict injunctions given that no one should appear upon deck without a hat or cap, or sleep out of his birth; well aware, that many of the crew, finding themselves too warm below, would prefer lying upon deck, notwithstanding the danger of sleeping in the open air. These injunctions must have appeared rather severe to men, hardy by nature, and little accustomed to any scrupulous care of their health. In other respects, their situation was not to be complained of. From the trade-winds blowing moderately, they had so little to do, that I seldom heard them move, unless when walking the deck for exercise, or upon the appearance of some curious object which they were unacquainted with. The grampus, benita, and dolphin, were our constant companions; and the last of these was an universal favourite, especially when in chase of the flying-fish. My people had a further source of amusement, and of a most rational kind. I had provided for them a copy of the Voyages both of Anson arid Cook; which, in leisure hours, were read to them by such of their comrades, in turn, as were best qualified for the office. In providing these books, I had not only their amusement, but the benefit of the expedition in view; and both purposes were probably answered. Certain, however, it is, that they crowded round the reader, on these occasions, with eager curiosity.

1803. Nov. 6th.

   At" five o'clock in the morning of the 6th of November we saw the island of St. Antony, one of the Cape de Verd islands, twenty miles to the southward. Bringing the middle of it to bear south half east, I took; some altitudes for the regulation of my chronometers, by which the longitude appeared as follows: by the chronometer No. 50, 85° 11'; by Pennington's, 25° 45'; and by that of No. 136, 26° 23'. Finding the last-mentioned to vary the least, I altered the rate of the other two; so that, for the future, No. 50, instead of gaining 0" 63, might be considered as losing 2" 87; and Pennington's as gaining 10" 83, instead of 4" 96. The variation of Pennington's chronometer might be accounted for by its having been taken on shore at Teneriffe; but the acceleration of No. 50, as it had never been moved, baffled all my inquiries as to the cause; and though the alteration of the rates may appear a bold measure, I felt myself warranted in it, both by my observations, and by comparing the journals of my chronometers, to which I scrupulously attended every day.


   Having nothing further to do with the Cape de Verd Islands, we shaped a southerly course, in retiring from the shore; but the wind from the south-east was so light, that the Neva could not pass the whole group till the 10th, when we were in 13° 53' latitude north, arid 27° 13' west longitude.
   If nothing is wanted from these islands, it is better to pass them to the westward and not venture nearer than ten or twelve miles from the island of St. Antony; as it often happens that the wind blows fresh at sea, whilst a perfect calm prevails near the shore. Some ships, in their way to the Cape of Good Hope, pass to the eastward of the islands of St. Antony, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent; while others attempt a passage through the group: but these last often regret the folly of their enterprise. It is true, that if it succeed, the voyage is shortened by 150 miles; but considering the risk, from variable winds, calms, and currents, it is certainly a very impolitic step. A proof of this I witnessed in the year 1797, when the Raisonnable man-of-war, in convoying some East-Indiamen, was induced by one of the East-India captains to attempt a passage amongst the islands; but, after twelve hours labour, we were obliged, from some of the above causes, to desist, and were glad to get back, to resume our former course.


   On the 16th, being in latitude 6° north and longitude 21° 8' west, we lost the north-east trade-wind, and bad variable winds in its stead. This change was accompanied with squalls, and with thunder, lightning, and rain. The rain was indeed so heavy and continual, that, as a security against damp, I ordered the ship to be fumigated with oil of vitriol, and stoves of live charcoal to be hung between decks. The same unfavourable weather prevailed till we reached the latitude of 1° 34' north, and the longitude of 22° 57' west, where we received the south-east trade wind, and it cleared up.
   During the last nine days we had suffered greatly from the inclemency of the weather. The rain, however, had its advantages, as it furnished us with about thirty casks of good water for washing and making spruce-beer, the essence of which I had obtained in England.
   It will not be deemed astonishing, that during this period we saw nothing near us, except a tropic bird, and some dolphins and benitas.


   By observation on the 26th, we were in 10' south, and in 24° 9' west. As soon as I was sure of our being on the point of passing the line, I put the ship about; and coming up with captain Krusenstern, complimented him upon our arrival in the southern hemisphere with, three cheers. I shall detain the reader a moment by describing our. feelings on this occasion; for which I shall, no doubt, be pardoned, when I mention that we were the first Russian navigators that had ever crossed the equator.


   The ceremony of salutation only served as a prelude to the commemoration, on the next day, of the most important epoch of our lives. We commenced with the performance of prayers by our chaplain. This solemnity over, I assembled the whole of my crew, officers and men, upon the quarter-deck; and, congratulating them on the honour they had acquired, by being the first of their nation who had passed under the line, I ordered a bumper of Teneriffe to be served round; and, with hearts softened by the recollection of our native land, and dilated with joy at the hitherto successful course of our voyage, we pledged, one another to the health and long life of our Imperial Master and his august family. The glee of my ship's crew was greats but it was afterwards not a little heightened by the excellent feast I had ordered them; consisting of soup made of portable cakes, ducks, potatoes, and plum-pudding, with a bottle of porter to every three men, and plenty of Teneriffe wine. During our own dinner in the cabin, the Imperial ensign was hoisted, and the whole of our guns discharged; and "Success to the Russian flag," in repeated bumpers, was re-echoed from the cabin to the fore-castle. Never, I believe, did a ship of any nation pass under the line with so few sour faces; nor do I think any seaman who reads this account, will deny that our dinner was infinitely preferable to the best ducking my men could have undergone. {This custom of ducking on crossing the line ought to be discontinued, on account of the disorderly proceedings to which it often gives rise, and the injury which the health sometimes suffers by it.} Our evening passed as merrily as our dinner; and every man retired to his birth, without a thought but what tended to the prosperity of his country, and the happiness of the dear objects he had left there.
   Amongst the many different things deserving the attention of navigators, the sea-currents are not the least important. I am indeed firmly persuaded, that attention to this subject may lead to useful discoveries. I accordingly made it a rule to keep a journal of the daily difference between the ship's course by reckoning and observation, and shall give my opinion on this point as often as an opportunity occurs in the progress of my narrative. From the Canary Islands to the latitude of 6° north, where the variable winds took place, the motion of the sea was towards the south-west quarter; it then took a north-east direction as far as 1° 34' north, when we received the south-east trade; and then again to the westward, in which it continued till we passed the equator. On calculating the variation of the current, from all the above-mentioned tendencies of the sea, it appears that the Neva, in her run from Teneriffe to the line, was driven by it about sixty miles to the southward, and nearly the same distance to the westward.

1803. Dec.

   After having passed the equator, the south-east trade freshened by degrees, and, as we proceeded, veered a little to the east, which was favourable to our course.


   On the 5th of December, when in latitude 16° SO' south, and longitude 31° 18' west, the wind shifted to the north-east. In the morning I took some lunar distances, by which the longitude was found to be 30° 38', differing forty miles from the chronometers; but as it is impossible to depend upon observations of this kind to the nicety of a few miles, I conceive our situation in the chart to be nearly right.
   Captain Krusenstern came on board the Neva to-day, to dine with me, and recommended our going in search of the island of Ascension. I readily consented to this, as we had the best opportunity in the world of resolving a point of such consequence to mariners, with hardly any loss of time to ourselves. The two ships therefore steered accordingly.


   We continued this search till the 9th; but finding that all our attempts would be vain, or at least that the island does not exist in or about the latitude of 20° 30' and between the longitude of 30° and 37°, we resumed our former course. As the wind was perfectly favourable, I ordered all the casks on board to be prepared for fresh water, being determined to have as much of this useful commodity with me as possible. I also took precautions in time to preserve the health of my people when they should arrive at the Brazils: amongst other regulations, I ordered the watch-officers to take strict care that no one under their command should dispose of any thing belonging to him; and, as a greater security against this, that the baggage should be registered and given in charge to the petty officers; for I knew that the Brazilians were very apt to make the common men drunk, and then buy of them clothes and other useful articles.


   The northerly winds had now blown fresh, and, for nearly a week, the ships had made a rapid progress. On the 11th, being surrounded with butterflies of every kind, and finding myself in the evening in fifty-five fathoms water, with bottom of shells, coral, and pebble-stones, I expected to fall in with Cape Frio the next morning; in which I was not mistaken. We saw it at five o'clock to the westward, about thirty miles distant. We were then in forty fathoms, with sandy and oozy ground. On approaching the shore I hove out a dredge, but caught only some very small shell-fish, resembling crabs. They were about the fifth or sixth of an inch long, and very quick in their motions. There was such a quantity of these curious animals, that when the decks were washed, every bucket of water contained from five to ten. We were also surrounded by dolphins, one of which we caught, that measured four foot in length. Having been brought alive on the quarter-deck, I saw it change colour eight times before it died. Some of the hues were extremely beautiful.
   Our voyage from the equator to this place was shortened in some measure, by the current assisting us sixty-two miles to the southward, and seventy-four to the westward: its direction during the south-east trade, or till we arrived at the latitude of 15° south, was to the south-west, when it changed to the north-east


   On the 13th we had southerly wind and fine weather. Being all the day in sight of Cape Frio, I could easily adjust my chronometers, of which I found No. 50 and No. 136 to the eastward of the true longitude; and especially the last, which had lost seventy miles, if we allow Cape Frio to be in 41° 43' west. By the azimuth of yesterday and to-day the variation of the compass was 4° 36' east.


   In the night of the 14th we lost sight of shore, and at noon, by observation, were in latitude 24° 14' south, and in longitude 42° 17' west, by No. 50, which had been regulated by the bearings of Cape Frio.


   Reckoning ourselves, on the 16th, near the island of St Catharine, we bent our cables; and about eight o'clock in the evening brought-to, with an intention of keeping in thirty fathoms water all night.


   At four in the evening of the next day, we saw a small island to the south-south-west; shortly after, another was perceptible to the west-south-west; and about half after eight, the whole shore was completely in sight. Thinking that we were to the southward of the island of Alvaredo, I altered my course to the north-west; and sailed along shore at about seven miles distance, having twenty-five, twenty-three, and twenty-two fathoms water, with pebble and fine sand and broken shells. At ten the weather became hazy, and did not allow us to take the meridian altitude. This deprived us of the only means we had of ascertaining our situation; and as we had no charts of this place, except lord Anson's, upon which we could not rely, we resolved to continue along shore till the next day, in the hope of a pilot, or of good weather for observation.


   Though the air on the 18th was clearer than on the preceding day, we could not distinctly see the shore till noon, when my ship's latitude, by observation, was 26° 59' south. While making my observations, I discovered a small brig to the south-west, and went in pursuit of her; but after a run of about eight miles, finding I was getting too near the land, I gave up the chase. At three o'clock, captain Krusenstern came up with me, and proposed surveying the coast to the southward, previously to our going into harbour. We had hardly formed this resolution, when we were becalmed. The clouds began to gather fast about us, and thunder was heard to the southward. Deeming this a prognostic of bad weather, our plan of survey was of course abandoned, and we shortened sail as quickly as possible. At four o'clock a heavy squall, with rain, came on; and the weather growing worse and worse. I was obliged to take in all my sails, except the main-top-sail, which was closely reefed, and the fore-sail and mizen. At tea we were in a situation of the utmost peril. The wind blew strong, the sea ran extremely high, and the darkness was so great that our ships could not see each other: in consequence, we had nearly run foul of the Nadejda. The vessels were on the point of coming in contact when I was called upon deck. Seeing the danger, I instantly brailed the fore-sail, and kept my wind as near as possible: the Nadejda at the same time hoisted her fore-top-mast stay-sail, and bore away; and thus providentially, no damage ensued. Though the wind abated about midnight, its strength was still so great, that we did not again catch sight of shore till the 20th; on which day, at noon, we found ourselves exactly where we had been forty-eight hours before. At two in the afternoon, I took some lunar distances, by which the longitude was found to be 4dp 20'. At the same time my chronometers gave:
   Pennington - 48° 4' west.
   No. 50 - 47 31
   No. 136 - 46 33
   At four a pilot came on board, and confirmed my conjecture, that one of the islands in sight was Alvaredo. Of this I should not have entertained a doubt, if I had not found this island placed in some charts to the southward of St. Catharine. By advice of the pilot we remained in the offing till sun-rise the next morning, when we made for the shore, and at six o'clock in the afternoon came to anchor off the castle of Santa Cruz. Our passage into the harbour was between the islands of Alvaredo and Gallos. From the account given by La Perouse of this passage, I expected to have found it very difficult; instead of which, it proved one of the easiest I had ever attempted. I crossed the whole breadth of it, and no where found less than twenty-one fathoms of water, over a bottom of clay, v I also sent my jolly-boat to sound; and it reported fourteen fathoms close to the breakers of the island of Gallos, and eleven fathoms near the Alvaredo, dark muddy ground in both places. To reach the harbour, you must pass between the above-mentioned islands; and then, keeping the depth of five fathoms, if the ship be large, steer south-south-west and south-west. In entering this passage, we once had four-and-a-half fathoms only; but on hauling to the westward, the water instantly deepened. From the island of Alvaredo the depth gradually decreases, and about the castle of Ponta Grossa no more than five fathoms are to be found. From thence it again increases to six fathoms, and continues at this depth to the harbour of Santa Cruz.
   When we anchored, the bearing of the Ponta Grossa was north 71° east; Ratondoos, south 10° east; Santa Cruz, north 15° west; and the north-west end of Alvaredo, north 37° east. On our approaching the castle of Santa Cruz, Portuguese flags were hoisted on all the forts; and soon after an officer, (an elderly gentleman,) came on board, to inquire who we were, and to what place we were bound. I was very much amused at the astonishment expressed by him, when he heard that we were Russians, and were going round Cape Horn. He asked me a thousand childish questions; and would probably have remained long on board, had he not been obliged to give in his report to the governor.

1804. Feb.

   We had no intention of making a longer stay here than was sufficient for taking in water and provisions: and, while this was doing, Mie meant, for the refreshment of our people, to have permitted them to amuse themselves as often as possible on shore: but an unforeseen circumstance not only prevented this, but prepared for them a work of much labour and time. On overhauling the riggings, our main and fore-masts were found so rotten as to be unfit for service. It was therefore necessary to replace them: and, notwithstanding the utmost diligence on our part, and the kindness of the governor, to whose assistance we were highly indebted, this was the business of a month. The trees of which the masts were to be made, were felled at the distance of about two miles only; but, from the unfavourable nature of the ground, and the want of proper instruments, the conveyance from thence to the beach was tedious and difficult: it occupied at least seven days.
   The tree we used for our masts was the red olio, the trunk of which is so tall and straight, that it will furnish a mast for a first-rate man-of-war, without having a joint in it. The wood, though not so light and pliable as fir, is much stronger. As a counterbalance to the inconvenience of its weight, I ordered our new masts to be shortened four feet. There are two other sorts of olio, the black, and the white, but neither of them is fit for spars, the black being too heavy, and the white too brittle.

Feb. 1st.

   On the first of February the work was completed, and I had two of the best possible masts. On this day we should have sailed, but for the desire expressed by the governor, and other gentlemen of the island, to see our ships. Our departure was in consequence postponed for two days.
   During our stay at this island we were all busily employed. Dr. Horner, the astronomer, of the Nadejda, established his observatory in the castle of Santa Cruz, and regulated my chronometers. Their rate of going had again varied: No. 136, which before had only lost 9" 4 per day, had now lost 24" 28; and Pennington's, instead of gaining 10" 62 daily, had gained only 9" 37. I knew not how to account for so extraordinary a variation as that of No. 136; but Dr. Horner was positive as to the fact, which made me the less regret the not having had time to take observations myself. By Mr. Horner's observations, the latitude of the observatory was 27° 22' north, and the longitude 48° west.
   As the whole of the trade with the Portuguese colonies is restricted to the being carried on through Rio de Janeiro, I shall detain the reader for a few minutes, whilst I attempt (though it demands a far abler pen than mine) to give some idea of a place, which, on account of that restriction, is as yet but little known.
   The luxuriant verdure and rich fertility, which this favoured isle presents to the view, form a singular contrast with the surrounding element Observing every where on the shore, woods of orange and lemon-trees; hills crowned with fruit-trees; valleys, plains, and fields interspersed with odoriferous plants, and beautiful flowers, which seem to spring up almost spontaneously; the eye becomes enchanted with the prospect. The air is soft and fresh, and while the smell is delighted with the perfumes that embalm it, the ear, in silent rapture, listens to the warbling of numerous birds, which seem to have selected this beautiful spot for their habitation. The senses, in short, are all gratified; every thing we see, hear, or feel, opens the heart to the sweetest sensations. These charming shores might be called Nature's own paradise; for so lavish has she been of her bounties, that she has favoured them with an eternal spring. We read in fairy tales, of enchanted gardens, guarded by serpents and other venemous monsters; and a knowledge of this island might lead one to give credit to such wonders; for no place on the globe, perhaps, has a greater quantity or variety of such reptiles. In some places, both here and in other parts of the Brazils, it is said, they are so numerous, that the postillions to Rio de Janeiro are obliged to gallop their horses full speed to escape them, as they lie across the road. The inhabitants pretend to have a cure for their stings: I would not, however, advise any rash intruder on the domains of these animals, to confide in this pretence, or to cease practising the utmost wariness. I was astonished that our gentlemen, several of whom went in pursuit of butterflies (and the most beautiful in the world are found here), never met with an accident. In supplying my ship with water, which must be fetched from the woods, I employed Portuguese, instead of my own men, from a sense of the danger.
   The island of St. Catharine was originally peopled by deserters from the neighbouring settlements; but its population has considerably increased, many European families having settled in it. By the governor's account, the population amounts, at present, to 10,142 souls, of which about 4000 are negroes. The condition of this unfortunate race, in this island, is less wretched than that of their brethren in the West Indies, or in any European colony I have yet visited. Nearly the whole of them have been converted to Christianity by their Port

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